Dora the Explorer: Dora Saves the Mermaids is a game starring the character Dora from the American educational animated TV series. This title in particular is based on the TV movie of the same name and it is also the 25th episode of the fourth season. The game starts at the beach where Dora and Boots the monkey are introduced. They love the beach and intend to clean it up with the player's help.
In the first level Dora can freely be moved around the beach as a 3D environment. When they encounter trash Boots will pick it up automatically. Dora can use scallop shells and swim rings to launch herself and jump. Items are hidden below heaps of sand or in treasure chests. Arrows point to the direction where to proceed and when running through flowers butterfly in different colours appear. When they meet a clam shell they can help it out by matching pearls to the correct shells based on colour. The shell shows its gratitude by introducing the real story of the game. The Mermaid Kingdom at the bottom of the ocean is threatened by an octopus that dumps garbage. Dora needs to stop the octopus, collect crown gems and return a magic crown to the mermaids. Eventually she will become Mermaid Dora and is able to swim to the bottom of the sea.
From the beach further exploration leads to a nearby tropical environment to explore using 3D platform mechanics. There Dora meets new friends that help out, learns to use ropes to swing across gaps, surf on sand sliding down hills and use springboards to cross large gaps. Further levels introduce other gameplay elements with small educational elements. For instance to cross a seashell bridge Dora needs to use the vacuum cleaner from Backpack to clean up the garbage on it first. She also needs to follow the numbers one to nine in order to take the correct path. In another mini-game Dora needs to play congas with different colours in the correct order Simon Says style. To cross a bridge Dora needs to match keys with locks based on colours and the correct shape. There a section where Dora can drive a boat and needs to count groups of animals such as cows or chickenfishes. In the fourth main environment swimming at the bottom of the ocean there is a logic game based on bubble jets.